Latest posts by Panoply

1 to 10 of 74

Grassless lawn

Posted: 19/04/2015 at 17:10

Hi jodie,

So lovely to see photos of your grassless lawn. I'm still dithering about whether to go for it with mine. I'd be replacing an existing lawn so I'd need to dig out all of the grass that's there first. Did you plant straight into the existing soil or did you add compost?

How did the plants fare over the winter? One species I sowed thinking I'd use it in the lawn was just stems over the winter, though it's leafing up now. Did your lawn get bare in patches at all?

Have you been walking on it and cutting it with the mower? Ours would get heavy traffic at times, so am worried the plants wouldn't stand this. Have you noticed any particularly tough ones you could recommend?

It would be great to hear some actual grassless lawn experiences!

Thanks (and sorry to bump an old thread!)

When to dig up my mixed bed?

Posted: 23/05/2014 at 18:54

Thank you for your reply obelixx. Well done for doing such a lot of weeding - especially following surgeries! You are made of tough stuff! I have done a few couch grass etc. invaded patches of the garden but none of them had many plants that needed rescuing, so it was easier to just do it whenever. I agree it is very satisfying, and whilst in the process even found myself sorting through couch roots in my dreams!

I shall take your advice and try and get the cyclamen area up now. The cyclamen is mostly in with the creeping jenny, bluebells, poppies and heathers, so hopefully they shouldn't be too upset by my interference, or I can skirt around them a little.

Thank you!

When to dig up my mixed bed?

Posted: 22/05/2014 at 18:09

Hello all,

I have a mixed bed that is riddled with couch grass and celandine. I have gritted my teeth through the celandine invasion, but now the couch grass is taking over and I'm itching to murder it! But I'm not sure when the best time of year will be to haul everything up and go through it with a fine tooth comb, without too greatly harming the plants that I want to keep. I've been putting it off for years for one plant or another, but would like some advice.

The plants in the bed that I would like to preserve are:

  • two miserable overgrown heathers that have just finished flowering and need to be planted deeper to get rid of the bald bit in the middle;
  • a miserable rose that's not flowered for years and is barely clinging to life;
  • an abundance of cyclamen that has spread throughout the bed, and is currently at the fascinating seed pod stage;
  • a small patch of spanish bluebells, currently leaves and seed pods;
  • a large very old and happy yellow potentilla;
  • a huge rosemary tree(!);
  • a great swathe of day lilies that are about to flower - I need to shrink these back because they've taken over, but would not have to dig them all up as they have crowded out much of the couch grass;
  • a great patch of comfrey that is taking over and is, of course, indestructible;
  • a honeysuckle;
  • one or two oriental poppies;
  • a patch of giant daisies just coming into their own;
  • one or two large euphorbias that are just finishing flowering;
  • a peony that's just finished flowering;
  • a hibiscus or twenty, just coming into leaf;
  • a carpet of creeping jenny;
  • and some tulip bulbs.

I think that's all that's there that's likely to be affected by my couch grass and celandine war. I thought hey, I should do it in autumn because that's when everything's dormant, right? But then the cyclamen comes into its own and I don't want to even step near it let alone haul it up lest I break it. So now I'm wondering if now would be the better time? Or is it too hot now to be exposing roots and stressing the plants out?

Any advice anyone? When can I cause the lease damage by "moving" these plants? Should I wait for the cyclamen to disappear below ground? For the day lilies to flower? For autumn? Earlier next spring?

Thank you for any replies. I know this is a lot to ask! It's a massive job and I've been putting it off for years, but that space could be used so much better if the couch grass, celandine, day lilies and comfrey weren't so abundant.

Primroses changing colour?

Posted: 05/02/2014 at 19:06

Hester, I shall attempt that this weekend (if the weather calms a little and I can get out to my pots/borders) and see how they respond.

I shall try and remember to return to this thread in time if there is anything to report.

Primroses changing colour?

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 19:51

Dove, those primroses sound amazing! I've never heard of them having purple leaves. Would be great to see a photo. I also have the same sort of thought about colours fading, though I thought it was more an effect of the sun bleaching them lighter, like it does with coloured paper.

Landgirl, nutcutlet, that is a good thought, as there are the odd little leaf in between some of the flowers. There are still flowers of two different colours coming from close together in each plant though. The top right one has some other smaller yellow-orange buds coming out at the back behind the middle leaf under the red flowers, so I dunno. It's hard to tell when the plants are this size and jostling for space, whether it is one plant or more. The top left one's white flowers are almost certainly from the same plant as the purple flowers though, as they're all coming up through the middle.

Ah, plants, you do confuse me!

Primroses changing colour?

Posted: 04/02/2014 at 16:11

Sorry, nutcutlet, not sure why that posted again. Certainly wasn't of my doing!

Mike, thank you for your comment. Yes, I've heard of hydrangeas changing colour. We used to throw a bucket of rusty water on ours and see them go blue. And of course those atrocious dyed chrysanthemums, they always seem to want to dye them neon colours!

Landgirl, Hester, on some of the plants they are fully out, though not as tall or large as the "right" coloured flowers, mostly they are still buds though.

Hester, it is quite miserable seeing plants neglected on supermarket shelves, I agree, especially when all they need is a drink and they're right as rain. They sell them at a reduced price all because they don't water them. It did make them very easy to bring home though. I could stack the pots on top of one another without risking breaking any leaves or flowers!

Here are some photos so you can see what I mean. The pink fringed one, in the lower right, was the only one that looked fine when I bought it, and you can just see that there are some buds that do have a pink tint to their edges, albeit paler than the older flowers, but there are also some buds that are coming through white as well.


Primroses changing colour?

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 19:50

Pretty sure they aren't dyed, nutcutlet. I certainly haven't been dying the ones that have been thriving in my borders for years. There's no reason I know of that they aren't bred just like any other plant that has non-native colours.

Primroses changing colour?

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 19:36

Absolutely. Also learnt that cyclamen are in the same family as primroses!

I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens with these colour changing plants. If they want to be yellow and white then they are welcome to. Any colour this time of year is good to me!

Primroses changing colour?

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 18:09

Unfortunately, being supermarket plants, they have no identifiers other than "primrose" and the size of the pot (9cm), so there's nothing solid to go on there.

I did just learn about pin-eyed and thrum-eyed flowers though, here, of which I have both. Very interesting! 

Help identifying a plant

Posted: 03/02/2014 at 16:31

Yes, just chop the berries off and you're sorted. Make sure none drop off in the process, as they are designed to!

1 to 10 of 74

Discussions started by Panoply

When to dig up my mixed bed?

I need to get rid of this couch grass! 
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